Little Joe, dir. Jessica Hauser, UK 2019, 105 min., English, 12A
The first English-language movie from Jessica Hausner (Lourdes, Amour Fou) is a dark, disquieting morality tale starring Emily Beecham, who won the Best Actress Award at Cannes for her chilling central performance.
Alice (Beecham) is a plant scientist who creates a new flower with a scent designed to instil happiness in its owner. Sneaking a flower home from the laboratory where she works with troubled Bella (Kerry Fox) and mild-mannered Chris (Ben Whishaw), who may be falling in love with her, she names it ‘Little Joe’ for the son she’s raising alone. But as it grows, so does Alice’s suspicion that it may not be as harmless as its nickname suggests.